Why You Should Build a “Career Portfolio”
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A career portfolio typically leads to greater ownership of your career. It also gives you a unique professional identity that evolves alongside you. It’s naturally aligned with lifelong learning and meant to help you expand your professional community and access to leadership opportunities.
Over time, the value of your portfolio will increase by your ability to combine and weave together skills from your different experiences in order to gain new insights, tackle new problems, diversify income sources, and serve in new ways.
Whereas a career path tends to be a singular pursuit (climb the ladder in one direction and focus on what is straight ahead), a career portfolio is a never-ending source of discovery and fulfillment. It represents your vast and diverse professional journey, including the various twists and turns, whether made by choice or by circumstance.
Especially for those just starting their careers, it’s important to know that you’re not going to have everything “figured out.” The ability to navigate ambiguity and “not knowing” are in fact among the most valuable skills.
You already have one — even if you don’t realize it, even if you’ve never had a paid job. The place to start is to identify what’s in it.
While your portfolio can include traditional paid jobs, don’t limit it to that. Think bigger. Your portfolio is created by you, rather than determined for you by someone else (like a bunch of hiring managers). It reflects your professional identity and potential. It includes your unique combination of skills, experiences, and talents that can be mixed, matched, and blended in different ways.
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